When I attended Mayberry Days in 2016, I gave Allan Newsome one of our chapter t-shirts. Allan is well-known in the Mayberry community as the tribute artist who acts as Floyd the barber at Mayberry events. Allan has often served as the Mayberry Deputy David Browning’s righthand man when David served as an emcee and has assumed many of David’s duties now that David is no longer attending Mayberry Days. Allan is also the podcaster who hosts the fan podcast called Two Chairs, No Waiting, the title of which is a reference to Floyd Lawson’s dream shop. He has been doing a weekly podcast since October 2008 and on October 16, 2018, posted his 5ooth episode. The gift of a shirt was just a small token of thanks to Allan for all he does to keep the Mayberry spirit alive.
I mentioned earlier that when I announced my project of trying to post daily throughout 2017, we had 86 members. Allan was in attendance when I made that announcement. He generously agreed to give my project a boost by talking about it on his podcast. I sent him the first few days of posts I planned to make so he would not be recommending something without knowing it’s quality. In early December, Allan gave our Facebook group a shout out and told others about my planned posts throughout the year. He also showed the audience the shirt I had given him and some of the photos I had posted on our Facebook group page.
At the beginning of 2017 and unbeknownst to me, a member of my Facebook group reached out to Allan and suggested having me share some of the information I was posting on the podcast. When Allan asked if I would be interested and willing, I happily agreed to do so periodically. The first podcast of 2017 had already gone by, but beginning the second week, I started sending in an audio report which I called This Week in Mayberry History. I did one literally every week the rest of that year and continue to contribute the reports regularly.
I have to share two points about doing the podcast reports. First, by the next Mayberry Days in 2017, after posting daily in The Gomer and Goober Pyle Comic Book Literary Guild Facebook group and preparing This Week in Mayberry History for the podcast, our group had gone from 86 members to around 3000.
Second, when I was first preparing to tape a report, I wasn’t sure how long a page of text translated to when reading aloud. I was in our bedroom just timing myself while reading what would later become my first report when my wife walked in, stopped in her tracks, and after a pause said, “Tell me you’re not starting a podcast.” I think she was happy to learn I was just doing a weekly segment of a few minutes on one!